Brandon McCarthy has been so good since joining the Yankees that you almost forget he had plenty of starts like last night's before coming here. He had them with such regularity for the D'backs that they traded him for 60 cents on the dollar. That's why he's here in the first place. It's a tough way to end the year for him and it was a tough near-comeback loss for the Yankees to put them on the brink of official postseason elimination.
McCarthy's problems came early and often. He gave up a home run to Kelly Johnson to lead off the 2nd and surrendered another run in that inning on 3 singles. Nick Markakis took him deep for a 2-run homer on a hanging curveball in the 4th, and Nelson Cruz completed the yardjob trifecta with a leadoff solo shot to left in the 5th. McCarthy got tagged for 5 runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings of work. A few of the hits were fluky, but there's no way to fluke 3 home runs in 4 innings. He was missing spots and leaving some offspeed pitches up. Hard to beat a good offense when you do that.
The Yanks got on the board with a Chris Young RBI groundout in the 4th. It was preceded by a Chase Headley walk and a Mark Teixeira double. A Stephen Drew sac fly in the 6th brought them within 3, but it wasn't until Brian McCann yanked an Andrew Miller offering into the right field seats for a 2-run homer in the 7th that things felt truly interesting. The Yanks had a chance to tie in the 9th after Brett Gardner got on with a 2-out infield single, but Derek Jeter struck out on 3 pitches to end the game.
- Daily Jeter line: 1-5, 1 R, 2 K. Down to 2 more home games in his career.
- McCarthy did have 8 strikeouts and 0 walks on the night, and he got 14 swings and misses. Stuff wasn't the issue. Command was. It happens.
- McCann was the offensive star of the night. 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, and his 23rd homer of the season. He has 4 in his last 10 games and 8 this month.
- 0-8 hitting with RISP as a team. That's how you let Ubaldo Jimenez wriggle off the hook when he was only good enough to make it through 5 innings.